Tips to help keep you safe during dangerous spring weather

March 14, 2012

By American Medical Response

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — American Medical Response (AMR) is committed to injury prevention. As spring approaches, AMR wants to remind people to be aware of severe weather changes. Powerful spring storms can unleash some of nature’s most destructive forces — tornadoes and floods. In the event of severe weather, AMR suggests the following safety tips:

Tornadoes

If a tornado warning is issued for your area, go to the basement or lowest level of your home and take shelter in an inner hallway or small inner room without windows, such as a closet or bathroom.

In mobile homes and other portable structures, evacuate the structure, even if it is equipped with tie-downs. Take shelter in a building with a strong foundation. If such a building isn’t available, take cover in a ditch or low-lying area a safe distance from the mobile home. Lie face down and cover your head and neck with your hands.

If you are in a vehicle, seek shelter immediately. Do not continue to drive and do not try to outrun a tornado. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can easily lift a vehicle into the air. Get out of the vehicle and take shelter in a nearby building or lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.

Floods

No matter where you live, always be aware of floods. Small creeks or streams and even low-lying ground can flood.

Be aware, not all floods are the same. Some develop slowly over an extended period of time, while others can happen in a matter of minutes without any visible signs of rain.

Watch for signs of heavy clouds or rain. Avoid flood-prone areas such as drainage channels or canyons if these conditions exist.

At any sign of flash flooding, move to higher ground immediately. Do not wait for instruction to move.

Do not enter moving water. Six inches of moving water can cause a person to fall.

Do not drive into flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause a loss of control of most passenger cars. A foot of water can cause most vehicles to float. Two feet of moving water can carry away most cars, including sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

Other advice

Have a way to receive weather warnings that will alert you whenever there is a severe weather threat. Specialized weather radios can receive severe weather bulletins and sound an alarm whenever severe weather is approaching. The radios broadcast severe weather watches and warnings directly from the National Weather Service. These radios can often be programmed for specific counties. Many local TV stations also offer weather alerts for mobile phones and e-mail.

Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

American Medical Response Inc. (www.amr.net), a provider of medical transportation, provides services in 40 states and the District of Columbia. More than 18,500 AMR paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals, with a fleet of 4,100 vehicles, transport more than 3 million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and non-emergency situations. AMR, a subsidiary of Emergency Medical Services Corporation, has its headquarters in Greenwood Village, Colo.

From the March 14-20, 2012, issue

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